The Impacts of Introduced Freshwater Fishes in the Philippines (1905-2013): A Review and Recommendations
Rafael D. Guerrero III
National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines
Philippine Heritage Center, DOST Compound, Metro Manila, Philippines
Based on existing records and observations, 62 freshwater fishes were introduced from 1905 to 2013 in the Philippines for aquaculture (45%), ornamental purpose (42%), recreational fishing (6%), and mosquito control (6%). An evaluation showed that 48 (77%) of the fishes are beneficial, 10 (16%) are invasive, and 4 (6%) are potentially invasive. In terms of of economic benefits, the gains derived from the introduction of beneficial fishes, particularly for culture and fisheries enhancement, are much more compared to the economic losses due to the negative impacts of invasive fishes. A review of the national policies and regulations on the introduction of imported live fishes showed that the required processes are adequate and in place. However, there are gaps that need to be urgently addressed to strengthen monitoring, surveillance and control to prevent the spread of the six invasive ornamental fishes now established in inland waters and to forestall the escapes of the potentially invasive fishes.
With globalization, the transport of plants and animals from one country to another through human intervention has been facilitated. The intentional or unintentional introduction of living organisms for economic and other reasons can have beneficial or adverse impacts (Bruton & Merron 1985; De Silva 1989). Next to habitat destruction, the introduction of “invasive species” is the second major cause of loss of biodiversity (IUCN 1999). . . . . . . .
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